Planning a gift closet
What is a Gift Closet and Why Does It Help?
A gift closet is a space in your home (not necessarily a closet) that you stock with toys, household items and other potential gifts for future events. It saves both time (no last minute trips to Target to buy gifts without being able to research prices) and money (don’t you HATE paying full price for anything?).
Planning a Gift Closet
Make a list of anticipated annual events. Take an inventory of occasions for the next 12 months. Do your kids attend lots of birthday parties from friends at school? Need teacher gifts for the holidays? Do you have a summer of weddings? Lots of friends buying houses? Do you need to have extra items around the house for grandkids or visitors?
Grab a piece of paper (or an excel spreadsheet) and make the list. Who you need the item for, some items they would like and how much you would like to spend on them.
Need some ideas? Check out Ten Things Frugal People Love!
Buy everything atleast 50% off or under $10- including the gift wrap. Most people are happy with items 20% or 30% off. But you aren’t most people. You are frugal. You scoff at a mere 25% discount.
You know that you can shop the toy clearance at Target in January and July for deep discounts. You know you can grab things on end caps at drug stores. You know that a Christmas coffee mug purchased after Christmas can be filled the next year with a $5 Starbucks gift card and it will still hold coffee.
You know that gift wrap is cheapest right after December 25th. And you grab enough for the year. Some may be specifically “christmas-y” but a big roll of generic red wrapping paper can be great for birthdays. In April with a big silver bow it doesn’t look much like Christmas.
Find an organized, secure area to use and keep a list. Your gift closet doesn’t have to be a closet. It can be a box under a bed. It can be a shelf (probably high up so the kiddos can’t get to it). Or you know those cabinets in your kitchen you can’t reach without a ladder? They work too.
You also need a keep a log of those items so you know what you have. You can grab that same spreadsheet or another piece of paper to track everything. That way if your gift closet is out of sight, the items won’t be forgotten.
Set an annual budget. When you reach it you are done shopping. I don’t want your spending to get out of control. If you have 15 parties to go to you don’t need 30 items in your closet. So at the bottom of your wish list put a big number that is your annual budget. When you reach it, you are done shopping!